Identify the available land base within a broad set of flexible land feasibility criteria.

1.1     Land Suitability and Feasibility Assessment 

This activity will generate regional datasets of suitable and potentially available land for plantations and environmental plantings based on an analysis of key requirements. It will build on existing studies to undertake more localised assessments that will include criteria such timber haul distance, species and product options, land productivity, slope, minimum lot size, access to infrastructure, local level aggregation and planning for revegetation by CMAs. The analysis will consider trade-offs, eg. between productivity and haul distance. The output will provide for analysis of potential land based on different criteria such as growth rates, conservation benefits or haul distance.

Key outputs:

  • Regional datasets of suitable and potentially available land for plantations and environmental plantings
  • Local level case studies for land owner “clusters”
  • Maps generated to quantify area and volume potential based on a collective resource

Lead Researcher:
Liam Costello


Improved understanding of landowner attitudes to planted forest development within the two research areas to identify landowners:

  • Needs & benefits as well as barriers to plantation development
  • Business models

2.1 Landowners Attitudes and Requirements

To determine landowner attitudes to planted forest development in target regions a social survey will be undertaken, stratified by potentially suitable areas identified above and characterising different markets for tree growing investment. The survey will involve a postal questionnaire to all identified landowners in each region (possibly 500) and a detailed face-to-face semi-structured interview with 10% of these. This survey will assess landowner interest in and motivations towards tree growing and their requirements for potential partnership investment models.

Key outputs:

  • Beliefs/perceptions of plantation forestry
  • Attitudes to alternative business models
    • g. scale, integrated farm forestry, ownership, rotation length, end product, species, type (block plantings, shelterbelts), percentage of farm area, preferred investment models
  • Factors contributing to attitudes, including:
    • Previous experience/anecdotal – what worked, what didn’t
    • Personal factors, e.g. life stage, succession plans
    • Perceived opportunity cost, regulatory certainty
    • Knowledge, trust

Lead Researcher:
Dr Nerida Anderson


To design and test new models of investment in planted forests that involved greater integration of tree growing with agriculture and new types of partnerships to provide benefits to a wider range of stakeholders.

3.1 Financial Sector Survey         

This activity will assess financial sector and industry requirements for investment through a survey of a range of the different investors in tree growing, including timber processors, banks, superannuation companies and other types of financial institutions and brokers for environmental services. This survey will assess attitudes to investment in tree growing, requirements for investment and business models and risk management issues and options.

Key Outputs:

  • Overview of existing financing instruments used in the forest sector both in Australia and internationally
  • A survey of investors expectations and positions, identification of opportunities for involvement

3.2 Business Model Design

The model design process will bring together industry partners, specialists in innovation and emerging entrepreneurs to focus on building shared value and providing for multiple objectives (financial, social, environmental) in plantation investment arrangements.  It will also consider how different risks are shared between investment partners. Business model design will include approaches for impact assessment and monitoring and provide examples of different partnership models and allow landowners and investors to specify their interests and requirements.

Key outputs:

  • Identification of opportunities and constraints as they relate to technology, processes, and legislation
  • Stakeholder and value mapping to demonstrate and understand different stakeholder perspectives
  • New business model designs

Lead Researchers:
Dr Krzysztof (Chris) Dembek
Dr Jodi York                   


To learn from past policies and approaches to design more sustainable models for planted forest investment.

4.1 Review of past policies and approaches in Australia

Undertake a review of past experiences in Australia with a focus on tree growing partnerships such as joint ventures, leases, loans, market guarantees, tax incentives and other arrangements. This will incorporate both a literature review and a survey of relevant companies, government and past landowner participants. The review will be Australia-wide but with a particular focus on target regions.

Key outputs

  • Review of past policies and approaches in Australia: Literature review & interviews

4.2 Global review and analysis

The Australian forest sector has the capacity to learn from the behaviours, incentives and performance of other forest growing and processing countries. Of particular importance to this project are approaches taken to farmer-industry investor relations, plantation support and trends in new forest products, processes and markets.

Key outputs

  • Global review and analysis: Literature review and interviews

4.3 Benchmarking analysis

Qualitative and quantitative analysis of different policy approaches to be ranked according to the applicability of the Australia environment

Key output

  • Benchmarking analysis: Qualitative and quantitative analysis of key policies to be ranked according to the applicability of the Australia environment

Lead Researcher:
Braden Jenkins